TRUCK 5’s NATURAL HABITAT– TIGHT QUARTERS. Truck 5 is one of Baltimore City’s busier trucks– often the BUSIEST. They catch some calls! Even a quick look at the Facebook page they share with former station-mate Engine 33, would suggest that T5 sees lots of fire in row houses. And, they’re apparently used to working in pretty tight quarters, inside and out.
Obviously, tight quarters aren’t limited to streets or the interiors. Randy Jones of the Des Moines (IA) Fire Department saw the two photos below on Balto Engine 33/Truck 5’s Facebook page– a fire on the 1300 block of East Biddle Street, which apparently involved a sneak-attack advance down an alley and past some chainlink fence. In one of the photos, Hawkeye Jones spotted a Hawk Tool in an array of equipment. It was apparently Truck 5’s stuff. Their equipment is marked with distinctive “I wish it was still St. Patty’s Day(!),” Irish national flag-inspired orange, white and green bands.
BALTIMORE HOOD ORNAMENTS. Baltimore’s a long way from home (i.e.. Iowa) for the Hawk Tool. But, in fact, there are probably more of the current version of the tool riding Balto rigs than in all of Iowa put together (no big surprise; BCFD Rescue 1 EVD Tim Brozoskie’s The RAGE Company is the top seller of Hawks in the US). One of them lives on Truck 5. Their previous Seagrave TTA had a compact array of tools on the extended front bumper (I call ’em “hood ornaments”). Theirs was somewhat unique in that a few of the tools rotated, depending (we assume) on the preferences of the day’s crew. The Halligan bar was a staple; a TNT seemed to put in an appearance from time-to-time, and the rotating spot was filled by a “hook of the day.” There seems to be a closely fought, department-wide battle for fire hook supremacy between the New York Roofman’s hook and the bare-knuckled Boston Rake. Apparently, this skirmish extends to T5, as well. One day it’s the Roofman, another its the Rake. But, occasionally their Malven Hawk Tool gets into the fight and ride out a tour on the point.
POSTSCRIPT– NEW TRUCK 5. As this was going together, Truck 5 took delivery of a new Pierce TTA. Nice looking piece. So far, we haven’t heard whether the “hood ornament” tradition of carrying tools on the front bumper will continue on the new rig.
CAPTAIN RANDY JONES. Congratulations(!) to Des Moines Fire Department’s Randy Jones on his recent promotion to Captain. Several years ago, Des Moines made a substantial investment in tools from Iowa American Firefighting Equipment when they were still in business, including a fair number of Hawk Tools. Randy has a couple of his own, that have followed his career, from station to station. Thanks for helping us keep track of our Hawks, Randy.